Portland Trail Blazers 2016 Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Portland Trail Blazers 2016 Preview
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The Portland Trail Blazers were the surprise team last year after winning 44 games despite losing four of five starters. There was a great case for Terry Stotts winning Coach of the Year, and Portland fans have to be excited with the core its building around.
Can the young Trail Blazers build on last years success?
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your 2016 Portland Trail Blazers NBA preview.
Key Player Losses: Gerald Henderson leaves after one season with Portland in which he averaged 8.7 points off the bench and shot 35.3 percent from beyond the arc. Henderson got a nice contract offer from the 76ers that he couldn’t refuse. He’s the only player who is no longer on the Portland roster worth mentioning, as he did provide a spark with the second unit.
Key Player Additions: The Trail Blazers upgraded at small forward by adding Evan Turner, a solid defender who is coming off his best shooting season at 45.6 percent. Turner will improve Portland’s defense immediately and will take some pressure off of the backcourt offensively. Portland also added depth at center with the addition of Festus Ezeli, a 26-year-old who has his best ball ahead of him and showed bright spots when given consistent playing time. I also like the addition of backup point guard Shabazz Napier, as he could thrive on a team that spreads the court as well as the Trail Blazers do.
Draft: The Trail Blazers snagged Jake Layman in a trade with the Orlando Magic. He’s a versatile player who can play guard or forward, and he plays solid defense while having range from the outside. Layman could be a second round steal and slide right into the backup small forward role.
Outlook: The Trail Blazers were my favorite team to watch last season and you guys know we made a lot of money on them all year as well. I’m high on Portland once again with the additions it made. A backcourt of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard is also second best in the league behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Portland has a lot of upside and could reach the Western Conference Finals if everything goes right. I really like this squad.